(CNN)After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis said of his hometown: “At this time all New Orleanians need the nation to unite in a deafening crescendo of affirmation to silence that desperate cry that is this disaster.” Fifteen years later, a new disaster, unleashed by a new disease. Now a desperate cry is coming from every corner of the country. But not everyone is shouting and not everyone is equally desperate.A stubborn resistance to stay-at-home measures early on among ordinary people everywhere — and some Republican governors in particular — only partly explains why America has not yet succeeded in beating back the novel coronavirus.The reason America has struggled to gain control of this new disease can be found at the intersection of politics, money and culture, rooted in two defining traits of our society in the age of coronavirus: extreme political polarization and rising inequality. The former encompasses not just partisanship but also related issues like hostility to the media, science and civil servants; the latter is about the relationship between race and socioeconomic status and access to health care coverage.Rising inequality The US is one of the most unequal nations in the world, according to


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